14.12 J.S.Bach "Christmas oratorio" with Helsinki Baroque Orchestra

Christmas concert with Helsinki Baroque Orchestra and bright soloists brings Christmas feeling to Tallinn

On the 14th of December at 19 J.S.Bach “Christmas Oratorio” will be performed in Tallinn St John’s Church by Helsinki Baroque Orchestra, soloists Helena Juntunen (soprano, FIN), Monica Groop (mezzo-sopran, FIN), Nico van der Meel (tenor, Holland), Jonathan Sells (bariton, UK), Collegium Musicale Chamber Choir (EST) and conductor Aapo Häkkinen (FIN).

The Christmas Oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach was written for the Christmas season of 1734 The oratorio is in six parts, each part being intended for performance on one of the major feast days of the Christmas period. The piece is often presented as a whole or split into two equal parts. During the concert in Tallinn parts I-III will be performed.

For more than fifteen years, Helsinki Baroque Orchestra’s performances and recordings have been captivating audiences with a potent combination of emotional eloquence and infectious vitality. Their programs frequently include first modern performances of unpublished or reconstructed masterpieces, and also shed unexpected and often provocative new light on more familiar works. Since 2011, Helsinki Baroque Orchestra’s monthly series at the Helsinki Music Centre has reached a large, new, and enthusiastic public. A visionary selection of repertoire and guest artists has ignited the audience in an unprecedented way, and in the process catalyzed early music’s elevation to something of a cult status in Finland. Helsinki Baroque’s sound has enthralled listeners from the Cologne Philharmonie to Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and at major festivals such as Bergen, Bremen, Rheingau, and Jerusalem. Equally at home in more intimate spaces, the orchestra has launched its own midsummer festival in the idyllic setting of Janakkala’s medieval stone church. Since 2003 the Artistic Director of the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra is Aapo Häkkinen.

Helena Juntunen is currently one of Finland’s most dazzling young sopranos to have established an international career. Her responsive soprano voice enraptures audiences with its freshness, and her phrasing is praised for its expressive and natural quality. Finnish mezzo-soprano Monica Groop has performed with many of the major opera companies and orchestras of the world including the Bayrische Staatsoper, Amsterdam, Covent Garden, Munich State Opera, Royal Opera in Stockholm, Los Angeles, Cologne, Paris and the New York City Opera, the Glyndebourne and Aix-en-Provence festivals. Tenor Nico van der Meel made an early debut with the Concertgebouw Orchestra and also sang the tenor arias in a recording of Bach’s St. John Passion conducted by Sigiswald Kuijken. He has performed with conductors as Nikolaus Harnoncourt, John Eliot Gardiner, Gustav Leonhardt, Peter Schreier, Jan Willem de Vriend, Jos van Veldhoven, Helmuth Rilling, Michel Corboz and Sir Colin Davis. Although he became internationally known for his performances of the role of Evangelist in J.S.Bach’s Passions, he has a broad concert repertoire, including music from the 16th to the 20th century. Baritone Jonathan Sells was born in London and is currently based in Bern.  He is equally at home on the opera, concert and recital stages. He graduated with distinction both from Cambridge University and the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (Janice Chapman). Particular highlights from Jonathan’s busy concert schedule include Bach cantatas with John Eliot Gardiner in the Berliner Philharmonie, the Messenger in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex with Gardiner and the London Symphony Orchestra, the Jardin des Voix world tour with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants.

Tickets available from Piletilevi and before the concert in St John’s church.